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Looking for help on a document stamp


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I am still researching the Allied POW hospital in Rennes (see German Signatures forum) and noticed in the Individual Death Personnel File (IDPF) for several POWs that a stamp was used on the Death Certificate. Unfortunately the stamping was not particularly clear in most cases. So can anyone give me a hint as to what is written around the edge of the stamp? These are the clearest shots I have so far. Any help that could point to a German Organization that ran the hospital would be great.

http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_05_2013/post-13976-0-99013600-1370019138.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_05_2013/post-13976-0-47679400-1370019139.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_05_2013/post-13976-0-81984300-1370019139.jpg

Edited by sirjahn
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Well the sources I have were that the hospital was called Frontstalag 221 W but I don't read that in the stamp. Nor do I read Rennes in the lower arc of the stamp. I agree the number looks like 121 which would have been in Épinal but it closed in late 1941 and this is 1944.

Does anyone have any stamp examples from a Frontstalag to compare?

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I think that French collectors/military and/or local historians may shed more light on this very specific matter.

Perhaps our French forum members may be of help here (if only to place sirjahn on the right track) instead of guessing around.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Frontstalag 121

http://ramblingweelassie.blogspot.nl/2012/03/frontstalag-internment-diary-of-english.html

"Later she was transferred to Frontstalag 121, in Vittal, where hotels from the Spa town had been adapted for the prisoners before she was released at aged 60, considered to old to be any trouble. During this period Aunt Fan kept a diary and drew many pictures of her surroundings, some of which have been included in the book"

http://www.ajpn.org/internement-Frontstalag-121-1005.html

"Article non renseigné. Si vous avez connaissance de personnes internées dans ce camp, cliquez ci-dessus sur “Compléter” et ajoutez leur nom, prénom, les circonstances de l'internement et la date de l'internement, si possible"

http://www.pegasusarchive.org/pow/Frontstalag.htm

http://histclo.com/essay/war/ww2/hol/kz/kz-icm.html

"Vittel (France)

The Germans set up an internment camp at a spa resort near Epinal at Vittel, France. It was located in the Vogues mountains of northern France. This was a rather privlidged camp. Vittel was one of several Internierunslager (Ilaq) administerdc by the German Army rather than the SS. They were for Allied civilians (British and Dominion subjects) who had the misfortune to find themselves in areas occupied by the Germans. After Hitler declared war on the United States, a few Americans were also held there. Vittel (Frontstalag 121) was a few requisitioned hotels in this spa town. Most of the British families and single women were transferred from Saint-Denis and Besançon. The Gernmans decided to release women over 60 years, men over 75 years, and children under 16 years (earl-1942). They wre allowed to live in occupied France where they found that comditions were worse then in the camp. This reduced the camp population to about 2,400 people. Most survived the War. There were also German Jews, including many children. We are not sure why the Jews were held here, but was probably because they had managed to obtain visas from various South American countries. Irish and Vatican diplomats attempted to obtain their release, but without success. The Jews were deported and killed"

http://stalag325.blogspot.nl/2013/03/plaques-de-front-stalag.html

Showing a Stalag 121 dog tag. - FRONT-STALAG 121 - EPINAL - Prisonnier n°831

a+Front+Stalag+121.JPG

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Okay if the stamp indeed is for Front Stalag 121 why was it being used at Front Stalag 221 W? Front Stalag 133 was the camp used for the French Colonial POWs and subsequently the Allied POWs post-D-Day. I would have thought that a stamp from there might be used but Epinal is quite a distance from Rennes.

Does anyone have a clear shot of a stamp from a Front Stalag that can be compared to the blurry ones I have?

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Frontstalag 121

http://ramblingweelassie.blogspot.nl/2012/03/frontstalag-internment-diary-of-english.html

"Later she was transferred to Frontstalag 121, in Vittal, where hotels from the Spa town had been adapted for the prisoners before she was released at aged 60, considered to old to be any trouble. During this period Aunt Fan kept a diary and drew many pictures of her surroundings, some of which have been included in the book"

http://www.ajpn.org/internement-Frontstalag-121-1005.html

"Article non renseigné. Si vous avez connaissance de personnes internées dans ce camp, cliquez ci-dessus sur “Compléter” et ajoutez leur nom, prénom, les circonstances de l'internement et la date de l'internement, si possible"

http://www.pegasusarchive.org/pow/Frontstalag.htm

http://histclo.com/essay/war/ww2/hol/kz/kz-icm.html

"Vittel (France)

The Germans set up an internment camp at a spa resort near Epinal at Vittel, France. It was located in the Vogues mountains of northern France. This was a rather privlidged camp. Vittel was one of several Internierunslager (Ilaq) administerdc by the German Army rather than the SS. They were for Allied civilians (British and Dominion subjects) who had the misfortune to find themselves in areas occupied by the Germans. After Hitler declared war on the United States, a few Americans were also held there. Vittel (Frontstalag 121) was a few requisitioned hotels in this spa town. Most of the British families and single women were transferred from Saint-Denis and Besançon. The Gernmans decided to release women over 60 years, men over 75 years, and children under 16 years (earl-1942). They wre allowed to live in occupied France where they found that comditions were worse then in the camp. This reduced the camp population to about 2,400 people. Most survived the War. There were also German Jews, including many children. We are not sure why the Jews were held here, but was probably because they had managed to obtain visas from various South American countries. Irish and Vatican diplomats attempted to obtain their release, but without success. The Jews were deported and killed"

http://stalag325.blogspot.nl/2013/03/plaques-de-front-stalag.html

Showing a Stalag 121 dog tag. - FRONT-STALAG 121 - EPINAL - Prisonnier n°831

a+Front+Stalag+121.JPG

Nice bit of work Eric, thanks for the trouble!

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  • 4 months later...

Okay I have gotten my hands on a POW Card for a medical orderly at Rennes and it has two stamps that could be the same stamp used twice. At close examination it appears that the upper arc does say Frontstalag 221 although the 2's look pretty crudely done. The lower arc is unreadable on one stamp but the other stamp looks like Rugend to me not Rennes or Bordeaux where 221 was located. Anyone have another guess?

GeoffreyGinnRennesPOWCardFront_zpscf2216

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I have several unclear shots of the stamp and was just trying to figure out if it did say Rennes. On another forum it was suggested and I think it more probable that the word at the bottom is Aussenstelle using an abbrevated form for the double 's' and the 'st'. Frontstalag 221 was based in Bordeaux and has a branch in Rennes for the hospital hence Aussenstelle and not the town of Rennes.

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  • 7 months later...

There were different types of German POW-Camps.

Most of these camps (such as Stalag, Offlag) were stationary and at a long distance from the front.

However the Front-Stalag were rather mobile units, only to gather and collect POWs who were captured in the surrounding areas. In the Front-Stalag these men were searched, interrogated by the GFP (Secret Field Police), registered and kept for a shorter period of time, to be sent out to a Stalag or Offlag.

Therefore a numbered Front-Stalag (like 121) may be found in several places, but in general not far away from the fighting zone or front area.

There was not much of a "camp" in a classical sense, sometimes only an old building large enough to hold a number of POWs, or a field with some tents or wooden barrracks, a mobile kitchen, sanitary and medical facilities, and accomodation for the camp staff.

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It is my understanding that Frontstalag 221 was relavitely permanent as an organization in France. It appears to have originally set up in St. Medard to handle civilian PWs and in Bordeaux to handle military PWs under the same name. So a bit confusing there.

Lazarette 133 was set up in Rennes in 1940 in an old French Army caserne to handle French Colonial PWs and the hospital was set up to support those PWs. At some point between 1940 and 1942 FS 221 took over administration of the hospital in Rennes as the St. Nazaire Raid wounded reported themselves as being in Stalag 221.

St. Medard closed in 1943 and in June 1944 it appears that Lazarett 133 was either taken over by FS 221 and designated FS 221 W or the Lazarette 133 site in Rennes was divided and FS 221 W had half of the location to handle the influx of PWs after D-Day and Lazarette 133 continued to handle French Colonial PWs. The Allied PWs reported that there were still French Colonials at the site separated by a fence and they shared rations with the Allied PWs that were getting short changed on rations.

So the stamps I have seen are from the period post D-Day and the German medical team in the hospital seems to have been from the Frontstalag 221 organization based on the Oberstabsarzt having been part of FS 221 in Bordeaux. I am just trying to validate the identification of the hospital as Ausstelle Rennes vice Frontstalag 221 W and clear up the organization confusion.

My father was in the hospital there and when he wrote home they had him write his address as Front-Stalag 221 Rennes. And the letter was stamped from Stalag 218. So you can see that there was lots of possibilities.

Edited by sirjahn
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